My title is inspired by a friend who posted on Facebook about the thrill of reaching the longest distance. She was talking about running at the time and the excitement of that moment when you reach your previous longest and knowing that each step after that is longer than you've ever gone before.
Today was my longest bide ride in 2014. It's not my longest ever. I reached 20 or so several times last fall. I don't remember being aware of passing my previous thresh hold for the year but in the end it's still my longest this year.
It wasn't a fast ride. My average pace was just under 10 mph. The average could have been higher if I wasn't so afraid of speed on the downhills - especially in traffic on a windy road. A thrill seeker I have never been. :) Still I'm pleased that I set out to do 15 today and I got there. It was nice that I was pleasantly surprised by the odometer reading from time to time rather than feeling like "Oh really that's all?" And I give my self credit for the hills too. Granted I know the area well enough to know where I can swap "short hill-flat-short hill" for "long slow climb" but I still get credit for the hills. :)
My thoughts on today's ride - when I wasn't admiring the variety in the neighborhoods - rambled around grounding myself to accepting where I'm at. Last year I had plans to run a full marathon in May (Bob Potts) and complete a century ride in September (MS City to Shore). I'm still certain I would have made it too. I was well on my way to the marathon when my heart started talking back to me. I had been riding the bike on non running days and after the marathon I had plenty of time to build bike mileage to September.
It's been one year plus one week since the last run and as you know (cause I whine about it enough) I haven't done a whole lot even after the doctor gave me the all clear. But these past weeks have been forward progress mostly and I am focusing on that. Hopefully there will be less whining since my thoughts have been much more positive now that I'm getting more regular exercise again.
I am torn about whether to continue with the cycling group. I'm stuck between two group. The hybrid group (8-10 mph) is not quite challenging enough but the next group up is (12-15 mph) seems to be too much for me after my one ride with them. There is an argument to be made for letting the group challenge you but if it isn't fun or if you are dreading it I'm not sure that's helpful. If I don't go with them now I'll likely not catch up either. Each week I'm sure they go longer and harder. I like the social aspect of the group ride though so I'll probably keep going to hybrid group at least for now and just see what happens.
So I'm not speedy and really that was never a real goal anyway. I'm to continue to increase mileage on the bike and on foot. My feet miles are likely going to be all walking and hiking. I get more pleasure out of those than running right now. Walking and hiking are two things I've always enjoyed. I can't cover as much ground as quickly (walking/hiking vs running) but I can cover more on the bike. It's a trade off I can live with. And I'm sure some adventures lie ahead.
Tomorrow I'm going on a hike on the Horse Shoe Trail. This will be section 4 for me. I'm looking forward to it. After the monsoon rain we had earlier this week the trail might be a bit sloggy in parts but it will be fun. There should at least be less snow than last time.
I've decided to repeat my Independence Day walk again this year. I've invited friends to join me and may take a slightly different route. The following week, July 12th, the Freewalkers are hosting a Philadelphia Freedom walk. I've set my sights on that too. If you are interested in joining in on either of those, send me a message!
Keep smiling and keep moving!